No, this isn’t some complicated geometry problem, and if it were some would already know the answer. This is a problem that presented itself to Jesus and his disciples as they look at a large crowd and attempted to find an answer to every mom’s question when unexpected company shows up, how are we going to feed all these people?! (Below is part of a message preached in February of 2015. The book “The Grave Robber” by Mark Batterson served as a resource for this message.)
6 After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. 3 And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.
4 Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. 5 Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” 6 But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.
7 Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth (approximately $3,332) of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”
8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”
10 Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” 13 Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
- Quit analyzing the situation. (Phillip)
God hasn’t asked you to solve the problem or even give a suggestion on how to fix it. When we feel overwhelmed by the scope of the problem/task, we are less likely to participate in the solving of the problem. We don’t think what we are able to do is going to affect the situation. It’s too large for someone like me to affect the outcome! The little boy didn’t let what he didn’t have keep him from freely giving what he did have. God has asked for you to trust and obey Him. Two things that everyone of us can handle.
38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38. Why hold back??? You already have in your possession what God will use birth the miracle in your life! Quit trying to figure out how God is going to do it and simply trust that HE IS GOING TO DO IT! Walk by faith and not what you see or feel!
2. Sit down. (Vs 10)
Jesus knows what is coming. However, what he asked the disciples to do was equivalent to calling people to dinner with nothing on the table. Sometimes God calls us to action when we can see no tangible evidence that He’s about to move. We don’t feel it, we don’t sense it, we just blindly obey and trust that it’s about to happen! This is a huge problem for those of us with the “I’ll believe it when I see it” mentality. However, the faith mentality says, “I’ll see it when I believe it.” For faith is the substance of things hoped for and the EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN. Jesus brings the disciples to the point where they have to begin to act on what they believe. They are in essence causing the people with them to begin to hope. They are creating and atmosphere where people are expecting something to happen. Think about it, if they weren’t going to feed them there, why would they have them sit down? Sometimes, as difficult as it is, when God tells us to do the unthinkable, we just need to do the unthinkable. We can’t even begin to imagine what God has in store for us when we begin to walk by faith! When was the last time your faith caused someone else to hope?
3. The law of giving.
I’m going to use the financial to express the idea of giving. However, do not mistake the word “giving” to only apply to financial needs or actions! If our goal in giving is to receive a tangible asset in this life, we are robbing only ourselves! An earthly reward for divine obedience is the least return on the investment possible.
God can not give back what you don’t give away. If this little boy did not trust God with what he had, than the other people following along that day would have never experienced the miracle of eating this meal. When we obey and follow God’s commands, then we open up ourselves and those around us to His presence and the possibility of miracles.
When we do the little things like they are big things, God does the big things like they are little things! It seems that everyone likes a big show. Everyone likes to see a grand slam home run. But a grand slam can not happen unless a couple singles or walks don’t take place first. The one that hit the ball out of the park gets all the credit, but if the one before him wasn’t where he needed to be, it wouldn’t be a grand slam. Do the little things for God with excellence and passion, then you will see God bless those things and make them much more than a “little thing”.